Are you heading to college soon? Learn from my mistakes! Here are 15 things I wish I brought to college my freshman year.
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I’m a huge planner — I like to be overly prepared for EVERYTHING. I read every college packing list out there but there were still a few things I wish I brought to college my freshman year.
No matter how prepared you think you are, chances are you still may forget a few of these college items.
To save you from making the same mistakes I did, I wrote up a list of all of the things I wish I brought to college my freshman year.
Things I Wish I Brought to College
1. Mattress Topper
Trust me, this is an absolute must-have and something I wish I brought to college.
Most dorm room mattresses are thin, hard, and uncomfortable. A thick mattress topper will make your bed so comfy and luxurious.
Some mattress toppers I recommend:
- This one is my absolute favorite dorm bed mattress topper. It’s insanely thick and honestly feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud. Seriously, read the reviews if you don’t believe me!
- For a cheaper option, this mattress topper has good reviews and is super affordable.
2. Brita Filter
I was so mad that I forgot to buy a Brita Filter for my dorm room freshman year. The tap water in my dorm tasted SO gross.
Luckily, one of my roommates had one and let me use it! It saved me so much money because I didn’t have to buy any wasteful plastic water bottles.
Don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle to fill up and bring to class!
3. Bed Rest Pillow
Someone told me I wouldn’t need a bed rest pillow and I’m so mad that I listened to them. Whenever I wanted to study or watch Netflix in bed, I had to just lean up against the wall. So uncomfortable!
I really wish I had brought a comfy bed rest pillow for sitting on my bed or on the floor. So much more comfortable than just using a regular pillow!
4. Clip-On Fan
Dorm rooms can get SO stuffy, especially in the early part of fall semester. If you don’t have air conditioning, you definitely need to figure out ways to cool down your dorm room.
One super cheap way to get some extra airflow is this clip-on fan. You can attach it to your bed or desk to help cool you down a bit.
Thankfully, my dorm room had air conditioning but I still wish I had a little fan like this one.
It would have been so nice for those days when I didn’t want to blast the air conditioning but I still wanted a little extra airflow.
5. Bedside Table
I really wish I had one of these cute bedside tables my freshman year of college.
I actually ended up borrowing a tray from the cafeteria and shoving it under my mattress. It was totally ugly and I would always have to take everything down when I changed my sheets.
I recommend getting an actual bedside shelf. They’re way cuter and a lot more functional.
6. Mini Fridge Caddy
How genius is this mini fridge caddy? It drapes over the top of your fridge to create more storage space.
I stored all of my cooking utensils on top of my bookshelf, which took up so much precious storage space. This caddy would have been so helpful for saving room in my dorm!
7. Stick Vacuum Cleaner
When I was living in the dorms, I thought it was smarter to just use the communal vacuum whenever I had spills. I was so wrong!
The communal vacuum in my dorm was ANCIENT and so huge. It was such a pain to go all the way down to the front desk and drag it into the elevators and up and down the hallways.
Plus, it was so old that it barely had any suction power left.
I really wish I had bought this stick vacuum cleaner and just stuck it in the back of my closet. It would have made it so much quicker to clean up little spills. Plus, it’s so cheap and takes up almost no room.
8. Full Length Mirror / Jewelry Organizer
This may seem a bit unnecessary, but I seriously wish I had this 2-in-1 jewelry organizer and full length mirror when I lived in a dorm.
A full length mirror is a total must-have in a college dorm because you don’t want to have to go down the hall the the bathroom every time you’re getting ready.
This mirror opens up and has TONS of storage space for jewelry, makeup, and other small accessories. And you can hang it over your door so it takes up practically no space!
9. Locking Storage Box
I had no idea how common dorm theft was before I went to college. Did you know that an average of 11,000 dorm burglaries occur every year?? So scary.
Fortunately, I didn’t have anything stolen from my dorm when I was in college. But looking back I really wish I would have had a lock box or safe in my dorm room for valuable items.
This dorm room safe is a bit pricey, but it’s made out of the highest quality materials and is big enough to hold a laptop. If you want a cheaper option, the Vaultz storage chest is also very popular among college students.
I wrote a whole post about the best dorm room safes if you’re looking for ways to keep your valuables secure in college.
10. Halloween Costumes
I always ended up scrambling at the last minute to come up with cute halloween costume ideas in college. I can’t tell you how many times I went as a cat because I was unprepared and had nothing to wear.
One of the things I wish I brought to college was a couple of cute halloween costumes. You can also reuse them for theme parties if you’re in a sorority!
Looking for cute halloween costume ideas?
- 37 Easy Costumes With Normal Clothes For A Low-Effort Halloween
- 60+ College Halloween Costumes For Girls
- 32 Easy College Halloween Costumes That Are Perfect for College Parties
11. Rain Coat & Boots
For some reason I feel like everyone forgets to bring rain gear to college.
Honestly, not a lot of people use umbrellas in college because they’re kind of a pain to carry around with you in and out of campus buildings.
I recommend bringing a good rain coat and pair of rain boots for those stormy days.
The Columbia Arcadia II jacket is my all-time favorite raincoat. It’s super waterproof, lightweight, and affordable. I love that it comes in a ton of cute colors.
12. Shoe Organizer
I always just threw my shoes in a pile at the bottom of my closet when I lived in my dorm room. It honestly looked so bad and it would always take me forever to find the matching shoe when I was getting ready.
If you have the closet space, I definitely recommend getting a hanging shoe organizer. You’ll keep everything organized and you can see all of your shoes at once.
If you don’t want to take up precious closet space, I love these under-bed shoe storage cubes.
13. Mini Steamer
This sounds weird but trust me, you’ll end up using this a lot! Clothes get so wrinkly in cramped dorm closets and there’s nowhere to store an ironing board.
I really recommend bringing a mini steamer with you to college. It’s definitely one of the things I wish I brought to college my freshman year. It takes up almost no space and gets rid of wrinkles really well.
Another solution for wrinkles is to use this wrinkle release spray from Downy. This stuff is straight up magic when it comes to getting wrinkles out.
Just spray your clothes and stretch them out a bit and they look brand new!
14. Foldable Drying Rack
While we’re on the topic of laundry, you definitely need to pack some kind of foldable drying rack.
Chances are there are some clothing items that can’t go in the dryer. Save your delicate clothing from getting ruined by air drying them on a rack in your dorm room.
This drying rack from Amazon folds down flat so you can store it under your bed or in your closet. Just pop it open when you need it!
15. Microwaveable Dishes
One really dumb mistake that I made was not checking to see if my dishes were microwave-safe. I wound up melting one of my bowls during the first week of freshman year!
Learn from my mistakes and pack a set of microwaveable dishes so you don’t ruin your food or start any dorm fires.
This post was all about the things I wish I brought to college my freshman year.
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